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Turkish lecturers’ and students’ perceptions of English in English-medium instruction universities

Turkish lecturers’ and students’ perceptions of English in English-medium instruction universities
Turkish lecturers’ and students’ perceptions of English in English-medium instruction universities
Recently, many institutions in non-Anglophone contexts have switched to using English as a medium of instruction in education mostly as a strategic response to globalisation and internationalisation. This switch has increased the intake of international students and staff, leading to the representation of diverse languages and cultures on campuses. Researchers, fascinated by such transformations, have explored issues around EMI from various perspectives, but less from a language perspective, which is largely concerned with language policy and practice. Given this gap, this research explores Turkish students’ and lecturers’ perceptions of English, by considering their institutions’ English language policies and practices from their viewpoints. In doing so, part of the aim is to discover the language ideologies guiding students’ and lecturers’ perceptions of English.

Using a mixed-methods research design, this research project employed three sets of data collection tools: questionnaires, individual interviews and documentary data. The research was conducted with undergraduate students and lecturers from three disciplines of three Turkish EMI institutions located in two provinces of Turkey. To analyse quantitative data, descriptive statistics and inferential statistics, i.e. the Kruskal-Wallis tests and the Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted. To analyse qualitative data, a mixture of qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis was utilised.

The results show that overall, participants have monolithic perceptions of English in line with their positive perceptions of their own English being perceived as akin to native English, and of their institutions’ English language policies and practices grounded in native English. The results also demonstrate that many participants were more negative vis-à-vis others’ English, including that of Turkish students and lecturers whose English they perceived to be not native-like. It also emerged that various language ideologies, which were found to be formed by several factors, e.g. previous educational experiences, external factors and personal aspirations, have seemed to guide participants’ normative perceptions towards English.

The research has ideological and practical implications for English language policy and practice in EMI universities as well as policy makers and content teachers both in Turkey and in other similar settings. The results propose that university policymakers should revise their institutions’ current academic English language policies to make them more linguistically ‘in-line’ with the current sociolinguistic reality of English — for example, by determining more appropriate entry requirements or by providing more appropriate EAP support for students. The research also has implications for ELT and EAP practitioners regarding the teaching of English and testing. ELT and EAP practitioners are recommended to reflect on their normative practices and expectations of their students’ language use and question the appropriacy of teaching standard (i.e. native) English to students who will, most likely, use English for communication with non-native English speakers and, primarily, for instrumental purposes, such as for the purpose of carrying out their academic tasks. At a more practical level, ELT teachers and EAP instructors can adopt error correction techniques which are mainly focused on meaning and content rather than on accuracy and show tolerance to students’ divergent use of English, with an emphasis on their “Englishing,” i.e. what they can achieve by using English, particularly for assessment.
Karakas, Ali
7d03ae80-42af-4a59-832f-1aefc70eecc7
Karakas, Ali
7d03ae80-42af-4a59-832f-1aefc70eecc7
Jenkins, Jennifer
7daf0457-86d0-4c08-af4b-79641d1f7fd0
Baker, William
9f1b758c-e6e0-43ca-b7bf-a0d5e1387d10

Karakas, Ali (2016) Turkish lecturers’ and students’ perceptions of English in English-medium instruction universities. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 384pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Recently, many institutions in non-Anglophone contexts have switched to using English as a medium of instruction in education mostly as a strategic response to globalisation and internationalisation. This switch has increased the intake of international students and staff, leading to the representation of diverse languages and cultures on campuses. Researchers, fascinated by such transformations, have explored issues around EMI from various perspectives, but less from a language perspective, which is largely concerned with language policy and practice. Given this gap, this research explores Turkish students’ and lecturers’ perceptions of English, by considering their institutions’ English language policies and practices from their viewpoints. In doing so, part of the aim is to discover the language ideologies guiding students’ and lecturers’ perceptions of English.

Using a mixed-methods research design, this research project employed three sets of data collection tools: questionnaires, individual interviews and documentary data. The research was conducted with undergraduate students and lecturers from three disciplines of three Turkish EMI institutions located in two provinces of Turkey. To analyse quantitative data, descriptive statistics and inferential statistics, i.e. the Kruskal-Wallis tests and the Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted. To analyse qualitative data, a mixture of qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis was utilised.

The results show that overall, participants have monolithic perceptions of English in line with their positive perceptions of their own English being perceived as akin to native English, and of their institutions’ English language policies and practices grounded in native English. The results also demonstrate that many participants were more negative vis-à-vis others’ English, including that of Turkish students and lecturers whose English they perceived to be not native-like. It also emerged that various language ideologies, which were found to be formed by several factors, e.g. previous educational experiences, external factors and personal aspirations, have seemed to guide participants’ normative perceptions towards English.

The research has ideological and practical implications for English language policy and practice in EMI universities as well as policy makers and content teachers both in Turkey and in other similar settings. The results propose that university policymakers should revise their institutions’ current academic English language policies to make them more linguistically ‘in-line’ with the current sociolinguistic reality of English — for example, by determining more appropriate entry requirements or by providing more appropriate EAP support for students. The research also has implications for ELT and EAP practitioners regarding the teaching of English and testing. ELT and EAP practitioners are recommended to reflect on their normative practices and expectations of their students’ language use and question the appropriacy of teaching standard (i.e. native) English to students who will, most likely, use English for communication with non-native English speakers and, primarily, for instrumental purposes, such as for the purpose of carrying out their academic tasks. At a more practical level, ELT teachers and EAP instructors can adopt error correction techniques which are mainly focused on meaning and content rather than on accuracy and show tolerance to students’ divergent use of English, with an emphasis on their “Englishing,” i.e. what they can achieve by using English, particularly for assessment.

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More information

Published date: May 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 394814
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/394814
PURE UUID: 6f7cbcc7-8d27-41ab-b3aa-d483bf9d46c6

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jul 2016 13:37
Last modified: 26 Jul 2018 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Ali Karakas
Thesis advisor: Jennifer Jenkins
Thesis advisor: William Baker

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